Eskom CEO Brian Dames has announced his resignation “for personal reasons” at the company’s interim results presentation on Thursday.

His resignation will take effect on March 31 2014 and closely follows the departure of former financial director Paul O’Flaherty in July, who doubled as the executive responsible for the company’s R300bn capital expansion programme.

Asked at the press briefing whether he had been put under pressure to resign, Dames said emphatically that he had not. He said: “It was my own decision.”

Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba paid tribute in a statement to Dames’ efforts in putting the foundation of Eskom’s new power station building programme in place, saying that significant progress had been made during Dames’ tenure and he left behind a capable team of executives to continue the work. Mr Gigaba stressed that Mr Dames had steered the company “meticulously with integrity.”

At the interim results presentation on Thursday 6 December 2013, the state-owned power utility reported restrained profits for the six months to September due to higher coal costs and usage of the open-cycle gas turbines (OCGT).

Eskom warned that the profit was likely to be lower in the second half of the year, which is South Africa’s summer season, when it typically sells less electricity and incurs maintenance costs and reported a R12.24bn profit compared with a R12.63bn profit in the corresponding period last year as primary energy costs rose 25.3% to 28.3c a kilowatt-hour.

This offset the gains from increased revenue, which reflected higher tariffs. Revenue per kilowatt-hour sold rose to 69c from 64.9c a year earlier while operating costs were 55.3c, against 47c previously.

The National Electricity Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) allowed Eskom to increase tariffs by an average 8% a year over five years. Mr Dames said this was forcing Eskom to re-engineer its business to adapt to these limitations.

Source: BDlive. For more information, click here.

Image: Eskom CEO Brian Dames